Essential Oils and Aromatherapy
Sixty thousand rose blossoms are required to produce one ounce of rose oil.
Aromatherapy is the practice of using essential oils to support balance and harmony to your body and emotions. Essential oils are concentrated essences of plant material and are chosen for their pleasing scents as well as for their individual characteristics.
Essential oils are most commonly extracted from varieties of trees, shrubs, herbs, grasses, and flowers via steam distillation. The steam containing the essential essences is cooled and the oil separated from the water and filtered to become essential oils.
It takes a great deal of work to produce tiny amounts of essential oil.
In the case of jasmine, the flowers must be picked by hand before the sun becomes hot on the first day they open, and it takes eight million hand-picked jasmine blossoms to produce 2.2 pounds of oil.
The Bulgarian 'damask' Rose, considered to produce the finest quality Rose Absolute Bulgarian Oil, requires 60,000 rose blossoms to produce one ounce of rose oil.
Essential oils are very complex in their molecular structure, and very powerful. Aside from the pleasing aromas given to us from nature, they have many other traditional applications.
The essential oil of oregano is twenty-six times more powerful as an antiseptic than phenol, which is the active ingredient in many commercial cleansing materials.
Skin absorption is one of the most common methods of applying essential oils. A dilute blend of essential oils and carrier oils are massaged into the skin, which absorbs the active ingredient of the essential oil into the bloodstream.
Ceramic diffusers are perfect for use in aromatherapy, or just to fill your space with a pleasant scent. Inhalation of steam containing vaporized essential oils is another very effective way to dispense essential oils.
When an essential oil is inhaled, various neurochemicals are released in the brain and the inhaler experiences a physiological change in the body, mind and spirit. The effects of essential oils are both scientific and experiential. She gives the example of the calming influence in the body when lavender is inhaled, as serotonin is released from the raphe nucleus of the brain.
Essential oils are often confused with synthetic fragrance oils, which are chemical recreations of scents made primarily from coal tar. While these fragrance oils may smell identical to their botanical counterparts, they do not feature the same chemical structure and will not have the same therapeutic effects; and their use is limited to perfumery. Any fragrance that contains musk (an animal product), for example, is not pure essential oil.
Essential oils are extremely concentrated and potent. Most essential oils should be diluted before use, and most are not intended for internal use. .